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May 18, 2008

To be open or to hide!

malaysiatoday - It is a very common practice by the Barisan Nasional government to classify most documents as being secret documents. Even contracts like the contracts with toll concessionaires are classified as secret documents. It is very odd as these contracts involve public money and hence the public has the right to know.

It is when the government wants to hide certain features of the contract that the contract is deemed as being a secret document. If not why is the need for secrecy? Will the revelation cause a national disaster? Or will the revelation cause disaster to the government? Most likely it is the latter that will happen if the document is declared as being an open document.

Most things that the Barisan Government does is shrouded in secrecy. Petronas has never, as far as memory can serve me, presented its profit and loss account. We are in the dark as to how Petronas earnings have been spent and in what amount and to which projects. Petronas money too must have been spent to bail out loss- making government companies or companies under the GLC.

For how long do we have to keep guessing as to what the actual financial position of Petronas is? The only information given to the public through the media is the billions that Petronas makes in its worldwide investment strategies. Petronas is definitely loaded if it can allocate RM1 billion annually as oil royalty payment to Trengganu.

This royalty was directly given to the state until PAS took over the government of that state in 1999. It was turned into what is called ‘wang ehsan’ and disbursed in a way to ensure that the Barisan Nasional will forever control the State government. It is the state government that knows what projects need to be carried out for the benefit of the people but is left with inadequate funding.... selanjutnya.


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